The Iraqi Air Force has awarded a contract to Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) for the supply of T-50 supersonic advanced jet trainer and light attack aircraft.
Under the $1.1bn contract, KAI will export a total of 24 indigenous T-50 aircrafts to Iraq in addition to providing training for Iraqi pilots.
The company will also provide follow-on support for the T-50 aircraft fleet for 20 years, marking the cumulative value of the contract to more than $2bn.
KAI president and CEO Ha Sung-yong said that the T-50 aircraft is the most optimal aircraft suitable for Iraq’s military operations.
Sung-yong said: "We will make our utmost efforts to support the Iraqi Air Force and ensure the smooth operation of the T-50. The T-50 is the most suitable type for the next-generation fighter drills so the prospect of exporting T-50 aircrafts is promising.
"Also, the T-50 can be operated in a flexible manner ranging from an advanced trainer to a low-class fighter jet."
KAI manufactures the T-50 Golden Eagle, formerly known as the KTX-2, jet trainer and light attack aircraft for the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) in the T-50A advanced trainer and T-50B lead in fighter trainer versions.
Capable of flying at a maximum speed of 1,837kmph, the aircraft has a range and service ceiling of 1,851km and 16,764m respectively with service life of 10,000 hours.
Powered by a single General Electric turbofan engine, type F404-GE-102, with full authority digital electronic control (FADEC), the jets feature seven external hardpoints for carrying weapons, digital fly-by-wire controls and hands on throttle and stick (HOTAS).
Image: Korea Aerospace Industries has signed the contract with Iraq for exporting its T-50 aircraft, total of more than $1.1bn. Photo: courtesy of KOREA Aerospace industries.